Costume jewellery and fine jewellery both have their parts to play in any contemporary wardrobe, but with more affordable costume jewellery than ever before available on the high street, is fine jewellery falling out of favour with the young, fashionable set?
Bold new designers
Some of Britain’s brightest young jewellery designers are creating fine jewellery – bespoke jewellery pieces crafted from 18ct rose gold or white gold inlaid with diamonds are seen adorning the wrists and necks of celebrities across the country. Some of the Made in Chelsea cast are often seen wearing high-end vintage pieces, and collections by modern jewellery designers such as Laura Gravestock (whose new range is a collaboration with MIC’s Rosie Fortescue) suggest that fine jewellery is very much in fashion in London, where quality is of far more importance than quantity.
Brands such as Astley Clarke are championing the way for more unusual metals such as rose gold, creating stylish contemporary pieces that are luxurious yet affordable for special occasions. Hatton Garden in London is filled with both traditional and contemporary boutiques offering everything from modern sapphire pendants to vintage diamondengagement rings.
In big cities such as London, New York and Paris, where people have more disposable income, fine jewellery will always have a place in people’s hearts. Wouldn’t you rather own one beautiful, unique diamond pendant that will last a lifetime than a whole drawer full of tarnished costume jewellery?
Jewellery may be a timeless investment, but there’s no denying that the shapes, sizes and trends of jewellery have evolved hundreds of times across the decades. With that in mind, welcome to our newest series of blogs, ‘Jewellery trends of the past’, which will tell you all you need to know about jewellery trends from times gone by. This week, the 1950s…
The 1950s is a period that’s universally recognised for its traditional styles and wholesome values, so it’s unsurprising that most of the jewellery of this era was prim and pretty rather than wild and rebellious. Conventional precious metals such as gold were used to create simple style for daytime wear, and women would save their more valuable pieces (usually adorned with diamonds or pearls for evening and special occasions.
However, in the latter half of the 1950s, costume jewellery became increasingly popular, and the industry saw the introduction of a greater range of colours and cuts. Costume jewellery was almost always sold in a set so that women could match their earrings, necklaces and bracelets with minimal effort and maximum impact. This type of jewellery complimented the clean lines and pencil skirts that were popular in the fashion industry at the time.
If you’re looking for a piece of 50’s style jewellery, why not pay a visit to the stores of Hatton Garden? With hundreds of jewellers stocking a variety of antique, vintage and heirloom jewellery, you’re bound to find something to suit your style.
Vintage style has been a growing fashion for some time now, thanks to the popularity of period shows like ITV’s hit Downton Abbey and traditional but trendy choices of stars like Kate Middleton. It may be the time of year when we all make New Year’s resolutions, but this year, plenty of people are resolving to go back to the old and invest in some stunning antique jewellery.
Buying antique jewellery is a process that takes time and attention, particularly if you are going to purchase a piece of significant value. It is important to research the style and period of jewellery that you want – do you like the designs of Victorian, Edwardian or even Georgian jewels? Once you’ve identified your era, it’s time to hit the shops. Speak to the jeweller and find out the item’s past, its story and its value. Knowing as much as possible will help you assess whether you feel connected to the piece and help you make your final decision.
Alternatively, if you want to create that retro feel with your jewellery, but want to be the first person ever to wear your pieces, you could opt for a new item of jewellery in a classic style. Choosing jewellery that features polished ivory pearls or feminine rose gold are a great way of achieving this old fashioned look with brand new items. You can still ask your jeweller to identify pieces that will conjure up images of a particular time period – but you’ll have the excitement of owning a brand new piece of gorgeous jewellery.
Here at Hatton Garden, the jewellery stores have a stunning range of both new and old jewellery in a variety of vintage styles. Why not come and explore today?
In recent years, brooches seem to have been something of a forgotten jewellery trend, lacking the popularity of more commonly worn items like rings and pendants. However, this season they are back in a huge way, with more and more celebrities are getting snapped in their pretty pins.
Kate Middleton may have sparked the resurgence of the trend, as she has stepped out on many royal appearances in a number of stunning pieces. Her fondness for brooches was first noticeable during her first official trip as the Duchess of Cambridge in Canada last year, where she wore a diamond and platinum brooch with a maple leaf design that was originally a present from Canada to the Queen. Photos of Kate at the royal occasion had the public clamouring to get their hands on unique vintage and antique pieces in a bid to imitate her sophisticated style.
On Saint Patrick’s Day this year, Kate was spotted wearing a charming gold shamrock brooch on her visit to the Irish Guards in Aldershot, and for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations she sported a silver double dolphin brooch – a wedding gift from the Royal Navy. It seems that for every occasion, Kate has a brooch to match, and each piece not only accessorises the outfit in an elegant way, but can also become a symbol of support.
If you want to recreate Kate’s fashion statement, why not try delving into the antique stores in Hatton Garden? As London’s most distinguished jewellery district, there are a number of retailers that specialise in antique jewellery and brooches. Landsburg & Son, for instance, are a family-run jewellers that provide fine antique and Art Deco pieces from Roman times up to the 1950s, and offer a number of brooches that emulate those chosen by the Duchess herself.
Attending a jewellery auction can be an exciting day out, and result in some amazing vintage finds that you can wear and admire for years to come. If you’re thinking about taking a trip to a jewellery auction, here are some things to consider:
• What’s your budget?
Bidding can be contagious, and an item that was originally billed at £100 can quickly escalate to £1000 if the right buyers are present. If you’ve got your eye on a particular piece, work out how much you can afford to spend, and stick to it. People who go over budget in the heat of the moment usually regret it.
• What are you looking for?
Keep an open mind when it comes to jewellery auctions. Each piece is unique, and does not come from a range of variable stock, so don’t set your decision in stone. For instance, if you’re looking for a necklace to set off a particular outfit, you may not be able to find one in your desired colour – but there may be a beautiful antique broach instead.
• Who else is bidding?
Knowledgeable buyers and collectors often attend jewellery auctions in search of a bargain. If they’re bidding on your chosen item, it’s probably because they recognize that it’s a particularly special piece – so find out the value of the item and adjust your bid accordingly!
Hatton Garden jewellers and jewellery services London EC1